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Notice to Trainers Formalin

Racing Victoria Stewards are aware of the existence of compounded injectable products for horses containing the substance formaldehyde.

Apart from being a prohibited substance, formaldehyde is also known to be toxic and potentially carcinogenic when given by injection, raising serious welfare concerns for horses administered formaldehyde by injection. 

There are no APVMA-registered veterinary products for injection that contain formaldehyde as their principal active ingredient, although a local compounding pharmacy was identified as having produced an injectable product containing 10% formaldehyde for use in horses. 

There are other unregistered injectable veterinary products such as Bio-Bleeder and Kentucky Green that have been found to contain formaldehyde and other aldehydes.

Effective forthwith, RV Stewards notify trainers that injectable products containing formaldehyde are totally banned in racing, whether for in- or out-of-competition use, and their presence in a racing stable would constitute an offence under AR80E.

Furthermore, race day and out-of-competition samples will be tested for the presence of formaldehyde.

Serious penalties will apply to the finding of such products in a racing stable, or the detection of formaldehyde in a sample taken from a horse on race day.

Furthermore, trainers are again warned of the dangers of having on their premises and using on their horses any unregistered products, particularly those for injection.

Many of these products are not properly labelled, do not list their active ingredients, and may be contaminated with other prohibited substances, including those listed in AR.177B(2).